11.03.2015: England Hockey – The Hockey Family often throws up some incredible characters and some amazing role models. England is packed with different stories of different people, all doing something great in their own way. Trishna Bharadia certainly falls into that category. Viewers in the UK may have seen her on the television lately, as Trishna, a keen hockey player, Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser and awareness campaigner has been selected to compete on the BBC’s People’s Strictly show for Comic Relief.

As a massive fan of the programme, the 35-year-old from Buckinghamshire is understandably delighted at the opportunity:

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of rehearsals. I was really apprehensive when they gave me the jive as it’s a really high energy dance. I was a bit worried about how I’d cope with it, but Aljaz Skorjanec [her dance partner] has been amazing in terms of pacing my training. There have been days where we’ve been training for six hours and it hasn’t felt like that at all. I’ve had so much fun I don’t want it to end.”

Trishna has been a keen hockey player for as long as she can remember, with her father’s love and passion for the game translating to her and her two sisters who have all played, and continue to play, plenty of hockey:

“Ever since I can remember I’ve had a hockey stick in my hand. At the time it was wooden sticks and my dad used to cut his down so my sisters and me had our own. I lived in Holland for two years and so I played in a competitive league over there and then when we moved back to England I played, school, county and club, pretty much anywhere I could get a game! Now I play for Indian Gymkhana. Our whole family loves hockey. My two sisters and my Dad play and my Mum comes and watches. You can’t get away from the game with us. We’re a hockey family born and bred!”

As well has her involvement in hockey, Trishna is also heavily involved in raising funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed with MS back in 2008 and has spent the time since then tirelessly working with, amongst others, the MS Society, Asian MS and the MS Trust. She was named volunteer of the year in 2013 at the MS Society Awards. Despite the limitations one might perceive her condition would place on her, Trishna’s attitude and approach to life, and indeed her hockey are admirable:

“When I was diagnosed I was training twice a week and often playing twice in a weekend, but gradually it became too much because I was so fatigued. I feel it’s important to focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Obviously you have to make adjustments, and when I was first diagnosed I tried to keep doing everything I always had but my body couldn’t cope. You accept that there are limits but if you stay positive and focus on what is possible, you can keep going and enjoy yourself. I can’t play twice in a weekend now but I still play one game and I always I give everything.” She adds: “I used to be a forward and it meant I was doing a lot of running, so since the diagnosis I’ve moved back and now play centre back. Things like that have allowed me to cope and continue playing. If I hadn’t adjusted I wouldn’t be able to play a full game. My teammates have been great. They never question me or complain they always support me and make it so much easier.”

Attention now turns to tonight’s live show and her jive routine on the BBC. She is keen not to give too much of the surprise away beforehand:

“I can’t say too much, but what I will say is the routine is a lot of fun. It’s happy and I hope people who see it see how happy I feel when I’m dancing. Lots of people would love to be where I am so I want to show people I don’t take it for granted. I’ve had the time of my life and want people to be able to see that.”

As you’d expect, being such a keen competitor, the question of whether she can win, inevitably crops up. Despite her competitive spirit the warm, enthusiastic and humble Trishna shines through in her response:

“I feel like I’ve already won just to have the chance to do this. All I can do is give it my all and see how it goes. I just want to make people proud and see where it ends up. It’s up to the public, really but I’ll do my best.”

To find out a little more about Trishna, watch the video on the BBC Website here or visit her official Facebook page. 
If you’d like to see more of Trishna’s appearances on People’s Strictly visit the 
BBC Website or tune in tonight at 9pm on BBC One and keep an eye out for when the voting opens.

On behalf of the whole of the Hockey Family England Hockey wishes Trishna the best of luck!

The European Hockey Family echos the good wishes of England Hockey! Go Trishna…

Source: England Hockey

Photograph: Trishna Bharadia  and her dance partner Aljaz Skorjanec (England Hockey (c))